It's official: Windows 11 is finally here. It spent months in the Insider preview space, being tested by eager Windows enthusiasts and critics alike. Many people enjoyed aspects of it, such as its refreshed Windows apps, while an equally vocal portion of people complained about parts of the new OS, such as its controversial Start menu which our very own senior editor Jez Corden outright hates.
Now, official reviews are live, and it's time for the experts to weigh in with their final thoughts on Windows 11's release build. You can get your Windows 11 takes from the common user on Reddit or Twitter as well, don't forget. But if you want insights penned by the tech experts who run the enthusiast sites you like to visit, then take a look at this roundup of what some of the big-name reviewers are saying about the latest iteration of Microsoft's long-running operating system.
Zac Bowden gave Windows 11 3.5 out of 5 stars for our review of the OS, stating that while it has promise, it's not without issues that hurt its overall appeal.
Ars Technica's Andrew Cunningham also took issue with a number of Windows 11 components. While he liked his time with the OS overall, he drew a comparison to the much-maligned Windows 8 in terms of 11's UI changes, and compared Vista's system requirement situation to 11's as well.
In PCWorld's Windows 11 review by Mark Hachman, the new operating system won the title of "unnecessary replacement" for Windows 10 that users may want to pass on for the time being.
The Verge had a more positive view of the new OS, with Tom Warren's Windows 11 review granting the debut release an eight out of ten. He highlighted its new UI as a boon for W11, but also stated it's the first time ever he wouldn't immediately give a Windows upgrade to his main PC.
Forbes' Barry Collins didn't mince words in his review. He called it the best Windows yet, but only by a slim margin over Windows 10, which made it not worth upgrading to in many cases.
There you have it. A wide assortment of critics and experts agree that the OS certainly has aesthetic appeal and UI perks going for it, though its lack of groundbreaking innovation, finished designs, and meaningful incentives to upgrade hold it back. Those critiques share similarities with what many Insiders have been saying for months while testing and tinkering with the operating system, so the broad consensus appears to be: Upgrade if you want fresh looks, but you're not missing out on anything big by sticking with your current operating system for the time being.
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Robert Carnevale is the News Editor for Windows Central. He's a big fan of Kinect (it lives on in his heart), Sonic the Hedgehog, and the legendary intersection of those two titans, Sonic Free Riders. He is the author of Cold War 2395. Have a useful tip? Send it to email@example.com.